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Expression, Expression, Expression! 

Melissa Thompson

Rationale:  Fluency is being able to read and reread decodable words in connected text.  To be a fluent reader you have to be able to read accurately and automatically.  To be a successful reader, there are five components: reading faster, reading with expression, reading smoothly, reading silently and being able to read voluntarily.  This lesson is going to focus on being able to read with expression. 

 Materials Blackboard, chalk, sentences written by the teacher, The Lorax by Dr. Seuss, one copy of Marley Goes to School for each student, assessment checklist for each student.

 Sample Sentences: Do you like to play hide and seek?

                                          Stop kicking me!

                                          Do you have anything to eat?

                                          I can't wait for summer!

                                          I am hungry!

                                          Do you want to go and play with me?

 Sample Checklist:



1.  The teacher will begin the lesson by modeling why expression needs to be used when reading. "We use expression when reading to show sadness, happiness, frustration etc. so that the story we are reading is interesting to the audience. When we change our voice we either make it lower or higher to show our emotion."  I will also share why we read with expression.  First, I will tell the students to listen to two sentences.  When the children think they hear the one with expression, they will raise their hand.  I will then ask them if they think they would like listening to a story if it was read like the sentence without expression.  The class will then realize that expression makes a story interesting and enjoyable to listen too. 

2.  Now I will read The Lorax by Dr. Seuss.  I will tell the children that if you hear me using good expression and emotion I want you to hold both thumbs up, if you think I am reading with no expression and very plain then hold both thumbs down.  The teacher will read a few sentences without expression, then change and read with great expression. This will show the students what a big difference it makes when someone reads with expression.

3. Now I will write several sentences on the board.  I will ask for a student to read that sentence without expression then reread it with the expression that they think is needed to make the sentence make sense.  We will do the first one together.  Example: I love the beach!  The teacher will read the first time with no emotion or expression then reread with great expression and exclamation.

4. Next the teacher will review with the class about punctuation marks and the expressions associated with them.  The teacher will explain how a person might change their voice in different ways to read a sentence with a question mark, for example "Can you please hand me the blue marker?" or an exclamation point "Give me that marker!" There will be a class discussion and several examples given by both the students and the teacher.

5. Now we will be reading a book called Marley goes to school by John Grogan.  Book Talk: "This book is about a dog that follows his best friend to school one day and gets into a little bit of trouble, to find out what kind of trouble you will need to read the book." The class will read the book together using expression. Next, the students will discuss the different expressions used in the book with the person sitting next to them. Once the students have had time to discuss the expressions used, the teacher will guide a class discussion about the expressions in the book.


    As the students are reading out loud I will have my checklist checking off how they read.  If they are not reading with enough expression or not reading it correctly I will stop them, ask them why they think I stopped them, help them fix it, and they will then reread that sentence using more expression.



Murray, Bruce. The Reading Genie.

Dr. Seuss. The Lorax. Dr. Seuss Enterprises 1971.

 Grogan, John. Marley Goes to School. HarperCollins Publishers 2009.

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